My obsessive-compulsive disorder self-assessment

Person with very soapy hands washing over sink.

I wish I could say this was a selfie.

Sometimes I worry I’m becoming germ phobic. Germs are a bit more dangerous to immunocompromised me than they might be to you.  An incident in yoga yesterday made me question whether I’m overly concerned about catching whatever you’ve got.

A while back, I went out and bought yoga blocks and a strap. I figured having all my own stuff would limit my communing with others’ germs. I don’t mean to gross you yogis out, but those grungy spongy blocks have a lot of nooks and crannies for germs to congregate in.

Then there’s the mat-placement issue. I’ve tried to shake my class positioning up a bit, but I still try to keep my distance from others when I can. Yesterday, however, I was a few minutes late for class. Bad Annie. I hate when others are late and now I’m the “other”.

So I arrived to find all of the spaces facing the teacher were taken. There was lots of space on the teacher’s side, facing the class, but you know I’m a failure at mental rotation. I am lost when I can’t mirror my teacher’s movements. Even when I can, I’m often lost.

Well, a very lovely young woman I’ve never met before kindly offered to move over so I could squeeze in beside her. No one else had offered and I was grateful for her gesture. Everyone scuttled one way or the other to accommodate me while I felt guilty for disrupting the whole class, but this woman was especially gracious about the inconvenience.

And then class started, and Lovely Woman started coughing, one of those scary sounding chest coughs. The nose blowing came next. I quickly realized she had the bad cold that’s been going around. It took everything in me not to get up and move my mat as far away from Lovely Woman as I could. But I didn’t want to be rude, and she certainly didn’t know I have leukemia.

As I contorted myself into impossible postures, I reassured myself: “As soon as class ends, I will rush to the washroom and wash my hands thoroughly.” In the meantime, I looked forward and didn’t share her used kleenexes and she did her best to keep her germs on her mat. Plus my little invisible shield helped.

Class ended and what did I do? I forgot to wash my hands, and I don’t even keep hand sanitizer in my car. So I spread my germs around the car, and then I got home and made my lunch. Did I wash my hands before preparing the food? I can’t remember.

And that, folks, is why I don’t have OCD. (Those diagnostic skills come in handy sometimes.) Or maybe I do, but only in my mind’s eye. I intend to be a compulsive hand washer but I just don’t follow through. Thank goodness we’ve previously determined that cleanliness is not next to godliness.

Oh goodness, I’d better clean this keyboard. It’s disgusting. Gotta run, though. I’ll get to it later.


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